What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 8 – 14 August 2022

Research Commences For 5th National Survey on Workplace Sexual Harassment

Every four years the Australian Human Rights Commission conducts a national survey on sexual harassment in the workplace. The newest survey has just commenced. The data collected is used to inform Australian businesses of the appropriate response to sexual harassment in the workplace. The 2018 survey results highlights that one third of workers had been sexually harassed at work and only 17% reported the incident.

Sexual Harassment, Widespread Bullying Exposed In NSW Parliament

This week the details of an investigation into the workplace culture at the NSW government were released. It revealed a toxic and “devastating” combination of bullying, sexual harassment and assault. The main perpetrators were MPs, providing for 52% of the incidents. The investigation was conducted by former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick. One third of employees had experienced bullying or harassment in the last 5 years.

Sex Discrimination Commissioner Calls for Swift Action To Address Harassment And Bullying In NSW Parliament

The Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins has responded to the NSW government investigation report. She commented that the findings of the report are “concerning” and that parliaments should set a better standard. Ms Jenkins iterated the importance of the NSW Government responding appropriately and acting swiftly to implement the recommendations. She stated that Australia is at a turning point in relation to sexual harassment, assault and bullying in the workplace.

New Action Plan Unveiled to Address Bullying In Workplaces

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) has introduced a new action plan after a damning report in February. It will address “unacceptable behaviour” in medical workplaces. The action plan will provide for training on bullying, harassment and discrimination, appoint an independent reviewer for complaints, publications of complaint statistics and progress updates, and collect more equity and diversity data. RANZCOG has apologised for past incidents and is committed to the “highest possible professional standards”.